Democratic National Convention
President Obama delivers a prime-time speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as he tries to bolster support for presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, Secretary of State William Galvin, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are scheduled to speak at a breakfast for state delegates attending the DNC in Philadelphia, Sheraton Society Hill, 1 Dock St., Philadelphia.
Attorney General Maura Healey will join openly LGBT elected officials on a panel at the National Museum of American Jewish History to discuss civil rights issues in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, National Museum of American Jewish History Dell Auditorium, 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m.
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton participates in a National Security Leadership Alliance panel alongside former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to talk about national security issues, UPenn Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, 4 p.m.
MassChallenge Startup Showcase
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash attends the MassChallenge Startup Showcase, an open-floor exposition of the 128 “highest impact” startups participating in the MassChallenge Boston accelerator, 21 Drydock Ave., sixth floor, Boston, 6 p.m.
Hillary Clinton will overcome today’s party divisions
Even after last night’s historic nomination of the first female to head a major party’s presidential ticket, as the NYT reports, anti-Hillary Clinton factions were protesting and clashing with police outside the convention hall in Philadelphia. From the AP report in the Chicago Tribune: “The protests continued into the night with Sanders supporters and anti-police brutality protesters joining together. They marched in the street outside of the Wells Fargo Center. Later, someone set an Israeli flag on fire while people chanted ‘long live the intifada.’”
Nice, right? Anyway, here’s the bottom line: Even if the protests continue this week, even if Hillary delivers an awful acceptance speech tomorrow evening, and even if she gets booed off the stage, she’s eventually going to overcome most of the current divisions in her party. Why? As we noted a few months ago, it will slowly dawn on even ardent Bernie Sanders supporters that her candidacy is historic and that too much is at stake in Clinton’s race against Donald Trump. Her candidacy will become a progressive cause on its own, particularly for women, as the Globe’s Shirley Leung notes this morning. It’s why Clinton never needed, for instance, Elizabeth Warren on her ticket. Clinton is making history – and a combination of that and intense anti-Trump sentiments will break in her favor, perhaps not immediately, but definitely around Labor Day.
Speaking of malcontent protesters
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi notes that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a true progressive’s progressive, did the right thing by endorsing Clinton, even if it harms her image in far-left quarters. “Progressives who prefer purity over victory in November are unhappy that Warren gave her blessing to a candidate who doesn’t meet their standards on a range of issues. What do they think a President Trump will do to their precious agenda other than trash it?”
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a South Boston centrist, seems almost baffled by the ongoing protests against Clinton, reports the Herald’s Brian Dowling. “Some of them are not dealing with reality,” Lynch said. “I’m trying to find what their endgame is, but I can’t figure it out. … Now it’s Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.”
Let us try to figure it out: Hillary is the bourgeois Kerensky of the Democratic Party and many of the hard-core lefty protesters romantically view themselves as members of the glorious intelligentsia and … blah, blah, blah. … We’re sure there are better explanations. But that’s our thumbnail sketch of them.
Baker and Healey spar over assault weapons crackdown
Is it 2018 already? We’re asking because you have to wonder if we’re currently witnessing a preview of a possible gubernatorial showdown between Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey two years from now. Yesterday, Baker, who initially seemed OK last week with Healey’s crackdown on “copycat” assault weapons, asked for yet more clarifications on her gun-control edict, saying its “ambiguities” are causing concerns and confusion, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller. Baker’s public safety secretary, Daniel Bennett, said in a separate letter that the AG’s fiat wasn’t clear whether the crackdown might apply to pistols, not just rifles.
Healey’s camp didn’t seem impressed with the administration’s inquiries, saying that Healey’s office consulted state public safety officials about the weapons notice in advance and that the new inquiries were a surprise, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout and Kathleen McKiernan. “Many of the questions raised in the letter mirror statements by the gun lobby,” said a Healey spokeswoman.
The sparring comes as Baker, a Republican, indeed feels escalating pressure from gun enthusiasts to act and as Healey, a Democrat, touts her anti-assault-weapon credentials at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Police tracking cell phones without warrants
Boston police have deployed controversial cell phone tracking technology 11 times since 2009 without first obtaining a warrant, according to a report from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting that was also published in the Globe. The department also used the trackers another 11 times in support of other agencies’ investigative efforts, but has not released details on those cases. The BPD says the trackers are used without warrants only in cases of emergencies, which it says is consistent with Police Commissioner William Evans’ comments on the use of the so-called StingRay technology.
Somerville police to protest Black Lives Matter banner
Police unions from across the state are expected to join Somerville officers in a rally Thursday to protest a decision by Mayor Joe Curtatone to stand by a Black Lives Matter banner hanging from City Hall, O’Ryan Johnson reports in the Herald. “We find the banner’s message disrespectful of police officers and potentially encouraging to individuals who pervert that message through the indiscriminate murder of our counterparts from around the country,” said Michael McGrath, president of the Somerville Police Employee’s Association.
Healey refuses to comply with U.S. House Republicans’ subpoena
The war between Attorney General Maura Healey and a U.S. House committee controlled by Republicans escalated yesterday after Healey and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman refused to comply with a subpoena from the committee about why the two were investigating ExxonMobil’s past knowledge about climate change, reports the Associated Press at Wicked Local. Healey’s counsel says her subpoena is “an unconstitutional and unwarranted interference with a legitimate ongoing state investigation.” Republicans say Healey and Schneiderman are on an ideological witch hunt to intimidate companies and people who may disagree with their views on climate change.
New Massachusetts bar exam will make it easier for lawyers to practice in other states
Massachusetts is switching to a new “uniform” bar exam that will make it easier for law school graduates to practice in other states, the Boston Business Journal is reporting. The state’s top judges have endorsed a recommendation to implement the uniform examination, which is currently used by 23 states and the District of Columbia. Bar applicants will still have to be tested on laws specific to Massachusetts, but the overall 2018 exam switch should benefit young attorneys eyeing jobs in multiple states. “The idea that bar exam results would be portable from one state to another has got to be a good thing,” said Jeremy Paul, dean of Northeastern University’s School of Law “It shouldn’t be easier for someone from France to practice law in Italy than someone from New York to practice law in New Jersey.”
Housing bubble alert
The Warren Group, a real estate research and publishing firm, and the Massachusetts Association of Realtors both reported yesterday that single-family home prices hit record levels in June, rising to between $372,000 and $380,000, respectively, figures that haven’t been seen since 2005, according to a WBUR report. With inflation factored in, the state still has a way to go to truly reach last decade’s bubble levels, but it doesn’t hurt to activate a bubble watch.
New Bedford called state leader on renewable energy
Environment Massachusetts says New Bedford’s efforts to embrace renewable energy makes it a leader among Bay State communities, Steve Urbon reports in the Standard-Times. The nonprofit cited a host of changes made by the Whaling City, such as its 16 megawatts of solar panels installed on city land, the opening of a new Wind Energy Center to help service off-shore wind projects and two dozen all-electric vehicles in the city’s fleet.
Baker adds unions to the disclosure list of those paying for political mailings
Reacting to concerns expressed by fellow Republicans, Gov. Baker has added unions to a list of people, companies and institutions that potentially must be disclosed if they contribute money for political mass mailings and other ads, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan. Baker shipped the proposed amendment late last week to lawmakers, who earlier passed legislation requiring that political mailers and billboards include a list of the top five donors to the organization that paid for them. The bill was widely seen as aimed at the conservative-leaning Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which sends mailers critical of Democratic candidates. Baker’s recommended language would apply to communications “made by an individual group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity,” and replacing a reference to “group or association” with “group, association or labor union.”
Distributor sues Boston Globe
The Globe’s delivery headaches from late last year haven’t gone away. Stoneham-based Wellington News Agency, a distributor of the Boston Globe, is suing the newspaper for allegedly violating a deal to be the newspaper’s exclusive delivery company in more than a dozen neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge, reports Greg Ryan of the Boston Business Journal. Wellington charges that the Globe has improperly given Publishers Circulation Fulfillment delivery rights in the contested neighborhoods. If you recall, the Globe turned to (or actually rehired) PCF after the paper’s disastrous switch late last year to yet another distributor, ACI Media Group, resulting in thousands of subscribers getting hit with missed or late deliveries. But Wellington effectively argues that PCF’s new agreement with the Globe doesn’t absolve the newspaper from honoring its exclusive neighborhood agreement with Wellington. Got it?
Olympic flame still out in Boston
A year after the idea of bringing the Summer Olympics to Boston in 2024 went spectacularly bust, many Bostonians have no regrets about the event’s demise, Spencer Buell reports in Boston Magazine. Buell cites a recent MassINC/WBUR poll that showed 48 percent of Bostonians think the games would have been a disaster for the city, while 44 percent supported the idea.
T faces federal civil rights complaint over late-night service
The MBTA was hit with a federal civil rights complaint Tuesday in connection with its decision to end late-night service and the process it used to arrive at that decision, Nicole Dungca of the Globe reports. The Conservation Law Foundation filed the complaint along with two Boston-based groups: Alternatives for Community & Environment and the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition. The groups say if the T had properly reviewed who was using late-night service it would have found that canceling it would have a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority riders.
Welcome to Gloucester, Gov. Baker
With Democrats decamped to Philadelphia, Gov. Charlie Baker took his family to Gloucester for a few days of summer R&R and officials there have plenty of ideas for how the Bakers can enjoy the fishing port’s charms, Ray Lamont of the Gloucester Times reports. Some are hoping Baker will join a Pokemon Go-themed safety walk sponsored by police while Sen. Bruce Tarr hopes he’ll take a stroll to see for himself the city waterfront, where city officials hope to make more improvements with additional state funds. “Really, though, I hope he just enjoys it here, gets to have an ice cream or two, maybe a seafood dinner and gets to enjoy his time,” Tarr said.
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